Prev | List | Random | Next
Join
Powered by RingSurf!



Anti-PC League

Powered by Blogger


Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Iraqi Vote

Again the Iraqis look like they are contradicting all the doom and gloom on the part of the mainstream media. Even though the power was cut and some limited violence.

Turnout is looking up too.

Michael Yon has a new dispatch where he interviews Dr. Farid Ayar, spokesman for the Higher Independent Electoral Commission, and one of its eight commissioners:
Dr. Ayar expressed confidence in the upcoming referendum, saying that with 30,000 polling stations, and many Arab Sunnis having agreed to vote, turnout was expected to be strong. He said the Sunnis have several problems with the Constitution as proposed. They do not accept Federalism, and they want to see a statement in the Constitution denoting Iraq as an Arab country. They are also against wording stipulating Former Regime Ministers are not allowed to share power in the new government. Yet, despite their ongoing differences, he pointed out, most Sunnis have agreed to vote.According to Dr. Ayar, there are 15.5 million eligible voters, and the commission expects about 11 million of them to vote, saying this would be an even better turnout than the January election results. The number seemed optimistic, but Dr. Ayar said that with a high Arab Sunni turnout, it might actually happen.Rasmus interjected with a question about places where voting might not occur. Dr. Ayar said there were a few such places, like Haditha, Qaim and Rawa, where there is too much fighting now."And Tal Afar?" I asked, "Will there be voting in Tal Afar?" Dr. Ayar expects "maybe" 33 polling centers to open in that city, where much fighting had recently occurred.Perhaps recalling the problems that plagued the January elections, leading to widespread predictions that the elections would be a disaster, Rasmus asked about problems hiring election workers. Dr. Ayar said there are so many volunteers that people are complaining they cannot get hired. He emphasized that there "has not been a single resignation this time," and that the volunteers were mostly coming from the same cities they would work in. During the first elections, there were so many killings and security threats that many election workers had to be shuttled around Iraq for protection from reprisals.Dr. Ayar explained that the security for the election sites will have three rings. The Iraqi Police will provide inner security. The Iraqi Army will provide the second ring. The Coalition will be the third ring and used only for backup.


Of course, the NY Times is already attempting to spin this.

Mohammed and Omar at IraqtheModel (a pair of Iraqi bloggers) have something to say before and after their votes:
-170,000 votes were cast in the first 3 hours in Kirkuk, that’s around one quarter of the registered voters in the city.

-One attack was reported in Hilla; three armed men attacked a voting office but Iraqi security men were able to arrest the attackers. Nothing reported damaged in the office, one attacker was shot in the foot!

-Voting stations in Tal Afar are open but no reports on the turnout in the town, however the local officials of the electoral commission in Mosul said that the number of voters who turned out in the city is a “surprise”.


Sooni has photos of the voting.

Doom and gloom indeed. Notice hope comes from those on the ground and with the people and gloom comes from those who are disconnected from the Iraqi populace.

UPDATE

Austin Bay has a great rundown of the day's events, and analyzes the media's spin.